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After all, didn’t I blow a magnificent career?
– Dick York
I was seeing everything through pain. I would roll out of bed and do my exercises. I had to do that to work out the remainder of the pain pills. I would drink coffee and go to the set and plunge myself so far into my work.
Radio allowed people to act with their hearts and minds.
When I did Inherit the Wind, I learned about teaching school. I also found out what a fundamentalist was.
I took pain pills to get to sleep because I didn’t want to go to work the next day exhausted.
I never danced a step in my life so naturally. My first motion picture was a musical, and Bob Fosse was the choreographer. I didn’t exactly dance for Fosse, I just did the best that I could to do what he taught us to do.
I’ve been blessed. I have no complaints. I’ve been surrounded by people in radio, on stage and in motion pictures and television who love me. The things that have gone wrong have been simply physical things.
Fortunately, I was supposed to look confused and disoriented because, God, I felt that way.
Every time I listened to Lux Radio Theatre, I wanted to vomit.
I went to a Gestalt therapist and said that I want to be able to at least tell my muscles that aren’t involved that they don’t have to go into spasms too.
Piper insisted she had to be out of breath when we played this one scene, so she ran around the block. Thank God she wasn’t doing a crucifixtion scene; we would have had to nail her to the wall.
You’d go in, read the script once for timing and then you would sit around and play games. The sound effects people would come in and we would do a dress rehearsal so they could get the effects and the music cues in place. Then you would wait until you went on the air.
Anyone who would let Gary Cooper and the entire cast go charging on horseback without first finding out what kind of footing the horses had is nuts and cannot possibly direct a motion picture.
We bought an apartment building and were going to live off the rent money. We rented to people who were on welfare and a lot of times they couldn’t pay the rent. We wouldn’t throw them out so we lost the building.
I had done my first picture and I didn’t have anything to do for awhile. I was asked to come back to New York and do Bus Stop in the role of the cowboy opposite Kim Stanley.
My spine healed incorrectly. There were long periods when I’d be perfectly all right, and then there were many other times when I wasn’t, when my back would give out and throw me down to the floor amid waves of nauseating pain.
There was a three hour differential in performances because the sponsor insisted it be done live for California. You would go on at 8 pm in New York but you would also have to go on at 8 p.m. in California. That meant coming back in to do the show at 11 p.m.
I’d managed to bite a very large hole in the side of my tongue before they could pry my teeth apart. By all evidence, and there’s no denying it, that thing I had on the set was a fit.
I kept having chills. This was in the middle of the summer and I was wearing a sheepskin jacket and I was chilling. I was shaking all over.
I’m trying to go over my lines. I woke up on the floor, somebody had me in their arms. I didn’t quite know who, people looked so unfamiliar. That’s about all I remember.
I lay in my dressing room after being in make-up waiting to go on. They knew I was feeling pretty rotten and they tried to give me time to rest. But I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t do anything.